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Jiggery-Pokery Redux

August 28, 2020

Yes, yes, the president said a bunch of stuff last night. But take a look at this. SHABAM:

For the second time in a week, a federal judge issued a blistering ruling against a controversial rule by Betsy DeVos’s Education Department that directs states to give private schools a bigger share of federal coronavirus aid than Congress intended.

U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction against the rule, calling the Education Department’s argument “‘interpretive jiggery-pokery’ in the extreme.”

I didn’t watch the president’s speech, but I hear it was, um, long. The Slate headline is “A Volcano of Lies,” so for the sake of my mental health I’m glad I missed it. Trump promised a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, and made up stuff about plasma treatments.

Donna Brazile says the GOP convention: “Gone is the Republican Party’s commitment to the separation of church and state.” Wait, what commitment? When? Who? I don’t even.

From the previous night’s programming, turns out Mike Pence swapped out Jesus for the flag to, I suppose, equate the two, saying, “Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents.”

RNS: There were no “celebrity Pentecostal-charismatics” (like Paula White) at the RNC, but Trump is courting them hard anyway.

Kenneth Roth at Foreign Policy: Mike Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights is used to “assert a dogmatic version of religious liberty to justify restrictions on reproductive freedom and the rights of LGBT people. … [He’s] relying on arguments that pose a profound threat to all human rights as well.

Ryan Burge discovers something revealing about Trump’s evangelical base: “White evangelical Republican support for Donald Trump is based more on immigration policy than his view of abortion.”

Anthea Butler on the Falwell “oversight” scandal: “Morality — and the supposition that evangelicals have it — is not about personal behavior or piety. Instead, it is a bludgeon to be used against those who do not support evangelical beliefs or policies.”

A group of 350 faith leaders do a mass-endorsement of Joe Biden, which seems like it dilutes the impact that individual endorsements might have, but whatever.

Might we have found a ministerial exception exception? Howard Friedman: “An Ohio federal district court held that the ministerial exception doctrine does not preclude a minister bringing a hostile work environment claim.”

Get ready to roll your eyes. Companies are hiring “divinity consultants” and “sacred designers” and the New York Times is ON IT.

President of the AMA says the CDC’s change in testing guidelines is “a recipe for community spread and more spikes in coronavirus.”

WHY are hand sanitizers being packaged to look like food and drink? And WHY would you add FLAVORING to them??? The FDA commissioner, no paragon of integrity he, says, “These products could confuse consumers into accidentally ingesting a potentially deadly product.” YA THINK?

Ada McVean at Skeptical Inquirer looks at what will and won’t make you go bald. That ship has sailed for some of us.

Maybe don’t buy suppositories to cure cancer from a guy in Alabama.

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

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